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The Pivotal Role of Goat Farming in India’s Hilly Rural Terrains

Nestled in the rugged terrains of north-eastern Rajasthan, Dholpur emerges as a district grappling with developmental challenges. With a Human Development Index languishing at 0.49, it stands as a stark emblem of rural adversity.

dru and arid regions of dholpur

The district's topographical diversity, marked by the Aravalli range and the Chambal and Parvati rivers, significantly influences its agrarian lifestyle.

The shift from traditional agriculture to goat farming:

In Dholpur, the traditional agricultural framework struggles because of unpredictable weather patterns and suboptimal land conditions.

This scenario has nudged local communities, especially in the Sarmathura area, towards a more feasible livelihood option: goat rearing. This shift isn't just a choice but a compelling necessity for survival and economic stability.

goat rearing in dholpur

CIRG and Manjari Foundation: Architects of Change The transformation in Dholpur's agrarian scene owes its success to the partnership between the Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG) and the Manjari Foundation. CIRG's role in enhancing goat farming techniques and introducing breed improvement has been monumental. Parallelly, the Manjari Foundation's initiatives in financial literacy, women's empowerment, and community development have added depth and sustainability to this agricultural pivot. Empowering Farmers: The Manjari Foundation's Role At the forefront of this agricultural renaissance is the Manjari Foundation's Goat Resource Centre in Sarmathura. Here, traditional farmers transition into being informed goat rearers, learning about advanced breeding, nutrition, and healthcare.

The foundation's relentless efforts in linking farmers to fair markets, optimising herds, and implementing the Pashu Sakhi Model for healthcare exemplify a holistic approach to rural development.

The Karauli Goat The Karauli breed, renowned for its meat quality and adaptability is a major driver of the success of goat-rearing initiatives in the state. Karauli goats, a medium-to-large dual-purpose breed, are primarily found in Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur and Karauli districts. These goats are recognizable by their black coat with distinctive brown stripes on the face, ears, abdomen, legs, and near the pin bones.

karauli goats in dholpur

Male Karauli goats, known for their hanging dewlaps, weigh around 52 kg, while females average 45 kg. They are productive milk producers, with an average daily yield of about 1.53 litres.

Karauli goats reach breeding maturity at about 18 months and typically give birth twice over 15 months, usually to two kids each time. Primarily raised for their meat, these goats are valued for their substantial meat yield.

Analysing the Financial Model

With modest initial investments, farmers witness a substantial increase in their herds and income, buoyed by the growing market for goat-derived products like probiotic ghee, goat soaps etc

pro biotic ghee by manjari founfation

The adoption of goat farming has redefined Dholpur's social and cultural landscape. It has empowered women, who are central to this livelihood, and has significantly augmented family incomes. The transition to scientific rearing methods has not only improved livestock health but also reinforced the community's resilience.

Addressing Challenges

In the community, several challenges are being faced, primarily revolving around goat healthcare and market-related issues. These can be summarised as follows:

Low Fodder Availability: This issue primarily stems from low rainfall, impacting fodder availability in forests. To mitigate this, a shift towards partial stall feeding is recommended. This approach reduces reliance on forests for fodder, offering a more sustainable solution.

Disease Outbreaks in Goats: Often caused by a lack of proper vaccination, this risk can be significantly reduced through a paravet system. This system ensures timely deworming and vaccination, thereby maintaining the health of the goat population.

Financial Challenges: The community often faces issues due to the lack of institutional financial intermediation, leading them to rely on money-lenders.

The solution lies in providing alternative financial options which can demonstrate the credit worthiness of the poor and offer them better financial support and stability.

3500+ Rang De Social Investors have played a crucial role in backing animal husbandry initiatives under the manjari foundation partnership.

By investing ₹70+ lakhs to 126 borrowers the Dholpur model holds vast potential for replication in other similar regions. With targeted support and adaptation to local contexts, goat rearing can become a transformative tool for rural upliftment and economic rejuvenation.

In essence, Dholpur's journey from conventional agriculture to sustainable goat farming is a narrative of resilience, adaptability, and collective effort.

It is a testament to how tailored interventions, aligned with local needs and environmental constraints, can catalyse significant socio-economic transformations. You too can invest in goat farmers from Rajasthan and individuals involved in animal husbandry across India by visiting

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1 Comment

Meenal Mamdani
Meenal Mamdani
Nov 21, 2023

Another excellent post from Mr Seemon.

The photograph shows the barren surroundings and makes one wonder how any vegetation manages to grow here. In these surroundings goat rearing seems the best option for livelihood.

The Pashu-Sakhi, equivalent to village women trained to provide primary health care, gives income plus enhanced social standing.

And fodder provision will make it easier as there seems to be hardly any vegetation in these barren areas.

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